It’s been a little while since I’ve shown what’s in the garden–and it’s awesome.
Our tomatoes have done super well. They just keep growing and turning red. Our cherry tomatoes in particular have grown super tall. Taller than Matt.
Next to the tomatoes, Matt’s onions are getting ready to take their first steps.
Our beets and zucchini are producing like crazy. I have to pick every day to stay on top of the zucchini. I finally tried out the grater attachment on my food processor for the first time and grated up 34 cups of zucchini. They’re tucked into the freezer. It appears that I’m going to be making zucchini something all winter long–and pretty much every day between now and then.
Despite having only four plants, we’ve had a decent crop of beans. Although Matt did make fun of me one night when I steamed just 10 beans for us both. I thought they were pretty much done, especially given that I broke the main stem on our biggest plant, but new blossoms are appearing on the other plants, so I think more beans are on their way.
I’m probably most excited about our raspberries. I have a full row of reds that have all successfully transplanted from my parents. The blacks haven’t done so well, save for this one plant, which has lots of green shoots. I’m going to try to transplant a few more blacks to see if they’ll establish themselves before winter sets in.
The biggest challenge is to protect the raspberries from the squash.
Matt and I are both a little bit afraid of the squash. Seriously. They have ambitions to take over not just the garden, but also the farm… and perhaps the world. Keep an eye out. They’re coming for you.
We have acorn, butternut and pie pumpkins. And we’re going to have tonnes of them. I’ve already notified Matt’s and my families to not buy any squash at any point in the future.
Anyone know how to tell when squash are ready to harvest? Some of these are looking pretty close, and some of the leaves on the vines are starting to die.
The east front of the squash advance is headed by the pumpkins. They’ve broken through the fence and are heading for the soybeans. Matt mows them every so often, but a few fruit have climbed the fence to get out of range. These green globes are my test case to see if the stalks are strong enough to hold the pumpkins while they mature. I’m adding squash trellis options to my Pinterest board as I plan for next year’s growing season.
The northern advance of the squash has already consumed the rutabags and potatoes. My only hope is that both of these crops grow underground, so they might survive the surface invasion.
Just to the edge of the advancing squash are our poor peppers. They’re actually looking a bit better finally. They’re growing bigger and they’re blooming again. I’m hoping that the blooms finally set into actual peppers.
We have one lone pepper in the first bunch of plants that we planted at the opposite end of the garden. He’s a little bit warped, so maybe this is a symptom of the other problems we’ve had this year with the peppers?
The lettuce have officially bolted. We’re leaving them alone as Matt wants to see how tall they’ll grow–apparently he has a thing about height.
A nice touch that I’m also enjoying is the stone bench that we’ve added to the garden. This sits at one end of the raspberry rows–the cross axis of the garden. The curve of the bench fits in well with the curved edge of the garden. I’m looking forward to sitting here and seeing the view across the garden and out over the fields.
For now, the other half of the garden is still under wraps with a tarp and some old carpet. (The rope marks the centre axis, so I can keep the raspberry rows lined up). This photo is definitely about keepin’ it real for all of you fellow non-Pinterest-perfect gardeners.
I’m patient enough to wait for next year to farm this other half. I’m definitely satisfied with what we’ve accomplished this year. And we’re more than satisfied with the harvest we’ve had.
What fresh food are you enjoying this season? Have you grown anything this year? Any thoughts around what might be wrong with our peppers? Have you had any sightings of our squash yet invading your neighbourhood?
Oh my gosh your squash is so funny! I’d be scared too! I wanted to plant spaghetti squash and pumpkins this year but I never got them in the ground. Our garden is almost done. We have a few tomato plants hanging on but otherwise we have mowed down most of our garden. It turned so dry here that everything just stopped growing. Even our green beans that had beautiful pods, had nothing inside. There was just no water. So other than harvesting the last remaining tomatoes, I am ready to start planning next year’s garden.
That’s too bad that it was so dry for you, Sarah. Are spaghetti squash and pumpkins in next year’s plan?
Oh yes, plus I want to make a raised bed for asparagus and one for strawberries!
I’ve been considering raised beds around the perimeter of the garden. Do you have other raised beds? Any experience to share? Are they worth it?
I have not used raised beds. My reasoning is that asparagus and strawberries come back each year so I don’t want them accidentally tilled up when we prep the garden in the Spring.
That makes sense for protecting perennial crops like that.
It looks just fantastic, Julia! Great work.
Thanks so much, Stacy!
Watch out for your raspberries taking over your garden too! We planted 10 canes 7 years ago and they are growing onto our grass and spreading into the rest of the garden. We actually mulch around them every year to keep them under control, and last year we swathed them down to give us a breather and remove all of the dead canes.
Thanks for the tip. I grew up with raspberries in my parents garden, and I definitely know what you mean. I’ll be happy if our rows expand a little more, but I’ll keep your warning in mind.
Your garden is stunning! I can’t believe this is the first season. That must be some dirt you’ve got there in that corral. Maybe lots of manure over the years? Lol. The harvest is amazing. 34 cups of zucchini! And the tomatoes – that photo looks like it’s raining tomatoes. I’m just blown away…now I want a garden more than ever!
You should see the 16 zucchini and three containers of cherry tomatoes I have piled on my counter right now. They just keep coming!
I think the soil in the ring was incredibly “rested.” It had been left alone for years, and the natural cycle of grow, die, decompose, grow again repeated over and over.
It really reinforces to me how much I have to take care of the soil.